It sure did… You may know the Chinese proverb that states, “be careful what you wish for as you just may get it…” Well, during the summer of 2011 while Kathy and I were in the pool, we noticed that about half of it was in the shade. When we installed the pool, the trees were not as mature and they have since grown to the point that you only get sunlight if you lay on one of the floats and wrap your arms over the side of the pool at the far end. We kept cursing that tree and saying that we should get rid of it. Two months later, we got our wish.
At the end of October 2011, we had a freak snowstorm. As always, we lost power for about a week courtesy of PSNH who seem to be caught with their pants down every time we get a storm. What a gig – they do the least tree maintenance, we lose the power every time the wind blows or a squirrel steps on a transformer four towns away, and we get the luxury of paying the most money for electricity.
Anyways, the image to the left was taken at about 4 am. We had already lost power and went to use the bathroom. I looked out the window, saw this, and almost shit. A nice big fat red oak was snow-laden because the leaves had not yet fallen and the trees just held onto the snow. Of course, it is slowly swaying back and forth over the pool as if deciding exactly where it wanted to fall. If the tree came down, it would take the pool with it, no question about it and there was nothing we could do about it.
Of course, all night long, you could hear small cracking sounds that quickly grew in intensity and then ended with a loud thud as trees and branches were dropping all over the yard. Needless to say, it is impossible to sleep when your house is surrounded by tall trees so you lie awake listening to the wind howling and trees crashing – just waiting for the one that comes through the roof. At least that did not happen.
I was out early to shovel and I was able to go and shake some of the snow from the branches. I thought we escaped the worst. Just as daylight started creeping in, I found myself at the top of the driveway swearing at the snowplows and I head a loud cracking sound – and then a thud. I looked immediately at the tree and to my pleasure it was down, and the pool was not. The snow on the edge of the pool had been disturbed by the fingers of the branches on the way down. At first we were ecstatic because the tree did not fall from the roots as I expected. Instead it broke about halfway up.
That is when I noticed that the main trunk that broke off was still hung up in the tree, ominously hanging over the cheap aluminum shed where I have two motorcycles stored for the winter. To my horror, I realized that when that branch comes down it will take the shed and the bikes with it. It was impossible to get the bikes out of the shed with the tree where it was.
The tops of dozens of trees on our property had broken off and there were branches and tree limbs all over the yard. A few weeks later, the snow had melted and I trimmed back as many of the non-supporting branches as I could as I tried to catch up with the wrath of mother nature. My goal was to see if I could cut the branches enough where the tree will slip out from it’s perch and fall harmlessly to the ground. The problem is that there is only about two feet between the tree and the shed and the branch was heavy. On the back side, there was a small branch that was actually supporting the branch somewhat, and would prevent the limb from falling away from the shed. In fact, it would ensure that if the branch came away, it would fall onto the shed.
I called a number of tree companies and received estimates from $300 to $1,000 to drop this stupid tree. Most were talking about bringing buckets in to take care of it, and getting the equipment there was a big part of the cost. I thought that was kind of expensive and figured I would try to wait until the nice weather and re-assess the problem. The entire time, I was secretly hoping that the tree fairy would come during the night and gently lay the branch on the ground, but that never happened. In the meantime, I started saving money so we can have this done, cringing every time the weather report showed gusty afternoons as I was sure one of them would make a pile of scrap metal out of my Harley. Finally, I contacted a tree company owned by Ray and he said he would take care of it with one man for $200. He was fully insured so what did I have to lose?
I caught this in mid-fall. My photography skills have certainly improved since the days where I brought a 35mm camera to Perfecta camera because I could not see where the film was in the window and could not rewind it. I asked the camera technician if he would take it in the dark room to open the camera and save all the images of the Anheuser Busch trip that we took. There was no film in the camera.